Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part II—Clinical Applications and Guidelines

Jan 27, 2023

Yogic breathing is a powerful tool for balancing the autonomic nervous system and influencing mental health conditions. In part one of this series, we discussed the neurophysiological theory of the effects of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY). In this second part, we will review clinical studies and observations to provide guidelines for the safe and effective use of yoga breathing techniques in a wide range of clinical conditions, focusing on behavioral health in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Clinical studies have shown that programs that combine pranayama (yogic breathing), asanas (yoga postures), and meditation can be beneficial in treating stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and stress-related medical illnesses. For example, a study of veterans with PTSD found that a 12-week program of SKY led to significant reductions in symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Another study found that a program of yoga and meditation was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with fibromyalgia.

In addition to these studies, our clinical observations have shown that SKY can be a valuable adjunct to treating behavioral health conditions. We have seen patients with a range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD, experience significant improvements in their symptoms after participating in a program of SKY. We have also found that SKY can be helpful in the rehabilitation of criminal offenders, as it can help to reduce stress and improve mental focus.

To maximize the benefits of yoga techniques, a skilled teacher must have proper training and practice for at least 30 minutes every day. This can be challenging for some patients, particularly those who are dealing with behavioral health conditions, which is why it is crucial for healthcare providers to encourage patients to maintain their yoga practices.

In conclusion, there is sufficient evidence to consider Sudarshan Kriya Yoga to be a beneficial, low-risk, low-cost adjunct to the treatment of behavioral health conditions, such as stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression, and stress-related medical illnesses. We recommend this practice to healthcare providers in Gig Harbor, Washington, as a therapeutic tool in treating their patients. With the proper guidance and support, patients can experience significant improvements in their symptoms and overall well-being.